by bhakta Eric Johanson
“But everyone wants sunshine. Why in one place denied, and one place there is sunshine? You are not free. Even though you want sunshine, there is no sunshine. So how you feel free? You bring sunshine. But that is not happening. There is superior arrangement. So to accept that superior arrangement, that is real business, not to declare freedom falsely. That is not possible. If I say: ‘I am free from the law-abiding process, law given by government. I am free from the law of the government,’ that is not possible. If you become outlaw, then you will be arrested and put into jail. So what is the use of declaring that, ‘I am free from the government laws’? There is no freedom. Whatever little freedom is given to us, if you utilize it properly, that is very nice. If we unnecessarily declare that, ‘I am free from any obligation,’ that is madman’s proposal. That is the mistake of the modern man, that especially in the Western countries, unnecessarily they are declaring freedom in so many ways.
Unnecessarily. He is not free, but he is declaring. That is described in Caitanya-caritāmṛta, I think, or in some other. No? Prema-vivarta. Yes, there is a book, Prema-vivarta: piśācī paile yena mati-cchanna haya/māyā-grasta jīvera se daśā upajāya. The freedom is declared by persons who are completely under the clutches of māyā. He declares freedom. And he is so much haunted by the ghost māyā that he thinks his bondage as freedom. Just like a drug-addicted person or drunkard. He is thinking, ‘I am free.’ He lies down on the street sometimes in madness: ‘Who can forbid me?’ You have seen madmen lying on the street. I have seen it, all traffic stopped. So this kind of freedom has no meaning. It is involving oneself with the strict laws of māyā. There is no freedom. And just like a child, if he becomes free from the parents, it is not good; it is dangerous. His life is at risk. If a child without the help of the parents go on the street, is . . . that freedom is nice? That kind of freedom. Therefore Kṛṣṇa says that ‘Whatever little freedom you have got, just surrender that freedom to Me.’ Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ (BG 18.66).” Room Conversation, July 26, 1975, Laguna Beach, emphasis added